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Archived News: June 2012

From Fiji Times Online (24 June 2012)

250K for arts festival team

by Nasik Swami

Government will spend $250,000 on a 121-member delegation to the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts in Solomon Islands next month.

Minister for Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts Filipe Bole will head Fiji's delegation to the festival.

In a government statement, Mr Bole said the Fiji Arts Council was in the process of finalising the selection of 100 participants under each category through its annual competitions such as Heritage Art Competitions to select winners from each category in weaving, carving, pottery, masi and jewellery making.

He said the National Youth Band of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Itumuta Dance Group of Rotuma, and the VOU contemporary dance group will represent Fiji at the festival.

Mr Bole said the inclusion of Fiji's Uto ni Yalo representing Fiji's voyaging society and the vilavilairevo (firewalking) group from Beqa, are the two significant events of the festival.

And 15 high school students from Rabi will also be part of the contingent to the festival.

From John Taito in Navua (18 June 2012)

10th Annual Navua Rotuman Farmers' Foodshow, Saturday, 9 June 2012

Its 3.45am and the lovo boys led by the Fonmoa brothers were already hard at work from the wee hours of the morning. The rain is pouring by the bucket loads and although not spoken out loud, one can almost hear all the prayers to the one above to please cease the heavenly showers. It is already 7.55am and with all the excitement in the air, time seems almost static. The 8.00am devotion was conducted by Pastor Robert Powell of the Pacific Harbour Wesley Church to bless the day. That was followed by a welcoming speech by the chairman of Foodshow 2012, Mr Freddy Wesley, who acknowledged all the guests who were present and introduced the chief guests, Mr William & Mrs Kafoa George Danford, who were representing Mr Lionel Danford (Senior) of Discover Fiji Tours. The chief guests, along with all the other guests, were taken on a tour to inspect all the food crops that were on display. Suspense was in the air as all the competitors awaited the drawing of the card by Mrs Kafoa George Danford that determined the Vudi (banana) variety that would start the competition at 8.35am.

Despite the rain and cold, guests travelled from as far as Waila & Davuilevu in the Nausori, Suva – Nausori corridor, and even some who were passing through on their way to Nadi, Lautoka, Rotuma and Sydney. Notably present during the Foodshow were Messrs Paulo & Vamarasi Inoke (Navua), Pita & Rejieli Alfereti (Suva), Mareko & Vafo'ou Kuno‘u (Nadera), Rupeti & Varea Antrea (Davuilevu), Linda Antrea (Suva), Jioje Faga, Fiu & Tokoara (Waila), Mako Chute & family (Nausori), Maraea Wise (Navua), Fuata & Molly Fakraufon (Rotuma), Fatiaki & May Panapasa (Lautoka), Fesaitu Jioje (Nadi), Makireta Taito Lewavinaka (Nadi), Vaivao & Ramisese Solomone (Nadi), O‘ohon ta Mareta (Nadi), Susie David (Suva), Muarina Konrote (Sydney), Judith Panapasa (Suva), Tifanue Nataniela (Suva), Tevite Timote (Suva/Fapufa, Rotuma),David Fereti (Navua), Mani Epeli, Firipo Kamilo, Tausie Amoe & Jione Nofaga (Navua), Ada Seeto (Navua).

The morning tea break at 10.00am had everyone treated to freshly baked homemade pastries from pies to cakes and puddings, muffins and an assortment of rolls. Whilst everyone warmed themselves with tea and pastries they were entertained with modern contemporary action chorus items, courtesy of the Kotobalavu Sisters of faith entertainers. At 10.15am it was back to the ring where the Master of Ceremony (John Taito), Scale Master (Malakai Kaitu'u), Ring Master & Crew (W.Konrote, Johnny Kaitu‘u, Pene Konrote, Roger Kaitu‘u & Mervin Wesley), Tag Team (Malakai Kaitu‘u Jnr, Rigamoto Taito, Maurea Konrote, Paula Toga, Netani Toga & Samuel Manueli), Judge (Fauoro Manueli) and Score Keepers (Aggie Manueli, Janice Manueli, Katarina Fonmoa and Josefa Wesley) were hard at work keeping accurate and timely tabs on the competition.

The lunch break at 12.45pm saw everyone tuck into a hearty meal of Chinese, Indian dishes and koua. They were treated to variety of fekei such as her-here, mara ma a‘ana, fekei uhi & fakakai, all whilst being entertained by the ho‘aga youths basket weaving competition that was won by Mr Pene Konrote and the Navua Polynesian Dance Group. This was followed by an afternoon of lively Rotuman hits, courtesy of the Pro Am Live Band, which had Fesaitu from Nadi showcase her natural flair in the true island spirit. Amidst the dancing, the competition resumed at 2.00pm and by 3.30pm the score keeping team was ready announce the winners in all the crop categories. The competitors received envelopes from the normal prizes plus bets (monetary) to reward them of one year's hard work. Mr Sam George, the outgoing champion of 2011, congratulated his ho‘aga colleague, Mr Jioje Fonmoa, who was the taro and overall champion for 2012. Mr Fonmoa thanked all the guests for their support and acknowledged all the competitors for competing in the true spirit of the game. The yam category champion for 2012 was retained by Mr Wesley Konrote, and the temafa category by Mr Jione Kaitu‘u. The day drew to an end at 4.00pm after the singing of the Rotuman anthem "Atumotu Helava La Kele" and benediction.

Financial Donations:
Mr & Mrs Lionel Danford, Mr & Mrs Paulo Inoke, Mrs Tue, Mr & Mrs Pita Alfereti, Mr & Mrs Rupeti Antrea, Mr & Mrs Fuata Fakraufon, Mr & Mrs Fatiaki Panapasa, Mr & Mrs Vaivao Solomone, Mrs Fesaitu Jioje, Mrs Makereta Taito Lewavinaka, Mr Tifanue Nataniela, Mr Jioje Faga, Mr Mako Chute, Mr Mani Epeli, Mrs Luisa Deo, Mr & Mrs Mareko Kuno‘u, Mrs Marea Wise, Mr & Mrs Firipo Kamilo, Miss Susie David, Mrs Ada Seeto, Mr David Freddy, Mr Tausie Amoe, Mrs Silika Wise, Mr Ray McGoon, Master Eminoni and Mr & Mrs Nataniela Kamilo who sponsored the special awards.

Foodshow Results (a‘ana x 15 varieties, uhi x 9 varities, pari x 5 varieties, tapiko, kumara, merene & painapa):

• Taro Category: 1st: George Fonmoa, 2nd: Jione Kaitu'u, 3rd: Sam George
• Temafa Category: 1st: Jione Kaitu'u, 2nd: Jioje Fonmoa, 3rd: Sam George
• Yam Category: 1st: Wesley Konrote, 2nd: Sam George, 3rd: Jione Kaitu‘u
• Heaviest Yam: Filipine ta – 43.5kg, Jione Kaitu‘u
• Longest Yam: Filipine ta - 88cm, Fauoro Manueli
• Heaviest Taro: Navua (hen roa ta) – 7.10kg, Jioje Fonmoa
• Longest Taro: Navua (hen roa ta) – 77cm, Jioje Fonmoa
• Heaviest Cassava: Uli mia ta – 21.9kg, Jione Kaitu‘u
• Overall Champion 2012 – Jioje Fonmoa
Ho‘aga Champion 2012 – Navua

Ho‘aga Groups:

  • Viwawa: Jione Kaitu‘u, 71yrs of Maftoa, Itu‘muta.
  • Nasasa: Fauoro Manueli, 46yrs of Fekeoko, Noa‘tau & Lili Somone, 59yrs of Sauhata, Oinafa
  • Navua: Sam George, 61yrs of Feavarere, Itu‘tiu & Jioje Fonmoa, 48yrs of Savlei, Itu‘tiu.
  • Rovadrau: Freddy Wesley, 48yrs of Lopta, Oinafa & Wesley Konrote, 52yrs of Pephaua, Malhaha

Post Foodshow Meeting:
It's 7.00am Monday the 11th of June and the young lads from the Viwawa/ Rovadrau Ho‘aga are already busy at work preparing the koua pit at Mr Jione Kaitu‘u's residence to host the post food show meeting. At 10.30am, with the rain still pouring by the tank loads, the ho‘aga youths were again busy at work covering the koua. The farmers' meeting began at 11.00am with the outgoing chairman, Mr Freddy Wesley of the Rovadrau Hoa‘ga, thanking everyone including the host, Mr Jione Kaitu‘u, who is the new chairman for the Farmers Foodshow committee 2013. Mr Kaitu‘u of the Viwawa Ho'aga acknowledged Mr Wesley, Mr Konrote and their families for the great work done for the 2012 Foodshow and encouraged all the farmers, including the new five competitors, to work hard for the New Year. Every one tucked into a yummy koua buffet that was followed with lively fara songs performed by none other than the farmers themselves as a gesture to thank all their families for their wonderful support. The day drew to an end at 7.30pm.

The Navua Rotuman Farmers would like to sincerely thank and acknowledge all those who supported and contributed to the success of their 10th Annual Foodshow: Fai‘eksia e hanhanisit se kaumaneag te ma alalum on gagaja la ma aus.


News From Sydney, Australia (10 June 2012)

Rotumans in Sydney Now Have Their Own Church to Call Home

It was truly a joyous and blessed occasion on Sunday 3 June 2012 as Methodist
Rotumans in Sydney gathered together in praise and thanksgiving to celebrate the
continuation of an exciting journey.

The Rotuman Congregation now have their very own church to call home.

The Rotumans feel extremely privileged and fortunate to have Rev Dr Fesaitu
Marseu as their Minister, to help start a fresh direction and provide
encouragement to the community at large - with 'growth' being its key focus.

Located at 33 College Street, Drummoyne – the Uniting Church has recently
undergone interior refurbishment and provides a warm and welcoming place
of worship to everyone who are either visiting, or reside in Sydney.

The theme of Fekau Marseu's sermon that Sunday was: Io sin: gou la re ta
te fo‘ou.
(Aisea 43:19). Praise God from whom all blessings flow – for this is
indeed "A New Thing".

Check out photos from Sunday's event